Friday, December 30, 2016

The Best of the Blog - 2016

Thanks you if you enjoy this blog enough to keep sticking around and coming back for more. I don't intend to stop any time soon.

It's the best thing I've done just for the fun of it since childhood. There have been several different motivations for other things I've done in the past. Societal obligations, peer pressure, an attempt to make a name for myself, a desire to earn a bit of money, and being 'meaningful' (whatever we take that to mean). This book blog is the one thing that doesn't tick any of those boxes. The fact that it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things is what does make it meaningful for me, in a paradoxical sort of way. There are so many thousands of other blogs that removing this one would make no great difference in anyone's life. It's just a drop in the ocean of blogdom. But as I age another year each December, I come to appreciate simple things which are over in a flash. Things like acknowledging fleeting moments of beauty, having fun, and making passing observations. Perhaps their apparent pointlessness is the point.

It's the first blog I've ever really looked forward to working on. I used to have a homeschooling blog and later an author's blog, and I'd sometimes struggle for things to write about. Maybe I approached them more like work. That's not the case with this one at all. New ideas for blog posts pop into my head all the time. Topics for discussions, lists, and things to mention about specific books are tumbling around in my head at all times. I realise now that this blog is my favourite because it comes closest to my childhood ideal of having a great time. All I used to want to do when I was little was read and talk about books. And that's exactly what I get to do here! This blog has proven to me that reviving our childhood passions is a good idea, because they hold the key to our deepest selves.

Now I'll just give a sample of the sort of thing you can expect if you do want to stick around. I've taken four of my most popular posts from each of my blog pages for this past year. I didn't ask for votes or anything like that. These have had the most views, shares and comments.

Following the White Rabbit
You could also call this my discussion page. Here I talk about all things bookish, from star rankings to plot spoilers. Here are the fave four for 2016.

The Sneaky Plot Spoiler. Handy to be aware at the outset, before you begin your review.
Melancholia - the Happy side of Sadness In case you've never thought about it this way.
The Vince family and the Search for the Elusive Harry Potter Book It was a very strange day.
Why don't we leave comments on blogs? This post received the most comments by far.

My List of Lists
This is one of my favourite features of this blog. I bring diverse books together, showing common ground in ways you wouldn't necessarily expect. Lots of bloggers create lists, and I can see why. It's a lot of fun. The favourites of 2016 are these.

Several Noteworthy Literary Trees These are such characters.
Stories featuring Trains and Railways A great theme for stories.
Bad Boys with Depth Or bad boys with heart. The interesting villains we love to love.
Literature's most Awkward Marriage Proposals That says it all.

Classics and Best Sellers
I've challenged myself to read or re-read more of these. They include both old and new selections. Here are the four reviews which got most interaction this year.

Jane Eyre
Little Women
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Digging Deeper in Books

This is the new page I've just started, so the most popular posts are yet to come. I decided I really want a place where I can ramble on about books beyond the scope of a review. I want to be able to analyse plot, character, theme, setting and mood, and invite others to join in, without taking pains to withhold plot spoilers. Look out for more in 2017.

* My book shelf is no longer as messy as you see above. I've tidied it up, which means there's room for more books.


  1. I love the way you think, Paula - maybe I should wait until I tidy up my bookshelves before I buy new books ... nah! lol. I've enjoyed your posts through the year :) Thank you.

    1. Hi Jenny, buying new shelves is a better option again, if we can fit them 😊 Another year has finished already. Thanks for your friendship and comments, so often worded in a way to make me think further. Now bring on 2017.

    2. Thanks Paula - I need a library room :) All the best for 2017

  2. Thanks for this great post Paula :-)
    I love your blog/s ... the book reviews are always interesting. I am not giving up on my writing, that will always be a part of me, God willing. But I am taking an increased interest in reviewing what I read ... two main reasons, firstly I feel very strongly about supporting other writers/authors, and secondly I love to read, it's what I look forward to most in this life. So dear Paula, you keep writing, and I shall keep reading both your blogs and books. And please don't stop doing what you do, as you do it so well :-)

    1. Hi Jo'Anne, I certainly relate to the sentiments you express here. Not so long ago in the past my focus was always writing books, but there's certainly a great lot of good in thinking, discussing and reviewing what we read. I wish you a happy and productive new year in all those areas too.